No. 4/3 Kansas to open season with Tennessee State Friday
Beginning in August 2017, fans will be allowed to bring only one clear plastic bag no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches or a one-gallon, clear, resealable plastic storage bag per person inside Kansas athletics events.
Fans will also be allowed a small clutch purse not to exceed 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches.
Freshman forward Billy Preston
|GM 1: vs. Tennessee State|
|Allen Fieldhouse (16,300)|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 4/3 Kansas will open its 120th season of men’s basketball when it welcomes Tennessee State to Allen Fieldhouse on Friday, Nov. 10. The Jayhawks will look to win their 43rd-straight regular-season home opener in the contest scheduled to tip-off at 8 p.m., on ESPNU. Mitch Holthus (play-by-play), Fran Fraschilla (analyst) and Jeff Goodman (reporter) will call the action.
- The Jayhawks have won 43-consecutive regular-season home openers in Allen Fieldhouse dating back to the 1973-74 season.
- Included on page 8 of the Friday’s game notes is a tribute to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer and Kansas graduate John McLendon. McLendon coached at Tennessee State from 1954-59.
- After its 86-57 win against Fort Hays State on Nov. 7, Kansas completed exhibition play with a 3-0 record. Kansas defeated Missouri, 93-87, on Oct. 22 in a Showdown for Relief game at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The KU-MU contest generated $2.011 million for hurricane relief efforts. On Halloween, Kansas defeated Pittsburg State, 100-54.
- Kansas is 1-0 all-time against Tennessee State. The Jayhawks defeated the Tigers, 89-54, on Nov. 21, 2006, in Allen Fieldhouse. The contest was a campus game of the Las Vegas Invitational, an event KU would later win with victories over Ball State and then-No. 1 Florida.
- Kansas returns two starters and four reserves from the squad that claimed the Jayhawks’ 13th-consecutive Big 12 regular-season title and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
- KU senior Devonte’ Graham is KU’s top returning scorer (13.4 ppg) and was selected as the Big 12’s Preseason Player of the Year. He was also named to the preseason All-Big 12 Team and was joined on the list by senior guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and redshirt-sophomore guard Malik Newman.
- KU is ranked No. 3 in the USA TODAY and No. 4 in the Associated Press (AP) preseason polls. KU has been ranked in each of the last 162 AP polls dating back to Feb. 3, 2009, which is the longest active streak in NCAA Division I.
Kansas returns two starters and six letterwinners from last season’s 31-5 team, which won the Big 12 race with a 16-2 conference record. Senior guards Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk return as regular starters, while junior guard Lagerald Vick was also in the rotation with six starts. Sophomore center Udoka Azubuike had six starts in his 11 games played in before an injury ended his 2016-17 season.
Expect to see returning sophomore forward Mitch Lightfoot’s minutes increase. Sophomore guard Malik Newman, who sat out last year after transferring from Mississippi State, will play a significant role as will guards Marcus Garrett and Sam Cunliffe and forward Billy Preston. Garrett and Preston are freshmen, while Cunliffe is a sophomore who will sit out the fall semester after transferring from Arizona State last December. Last season, Garrett was the Texas Gatorade Player of the Year, while Preston became KU’s 42nd McDonald’s All-American.
Graham is the 2017-18 Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, as selected by the league coaches, while Newman is the league’s preseason newcomer of the year. Graham was a preseason all-conference first-team selection and Newman and Mykhailiuk were on the preseason league honorable mention team. Additionally, Graham is one of 20 listed on the preseason Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Watch List and one of 32 on the Oscar Robertson Trophy Watch List, with both awards won by KU’s Frank Mason III in 2016-17. Newman is one of 20 listed on the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Watch List entering 2017-18.
Kansas won its three exhibition games by an average of 27 points. The Jayhawks defeated Missouri (10-22), 93-87, Pittsburg State (10/31), 100-54, and Fort Hays State (11/7), 86-57. At 19.3 points per game, Graham led five Jayhawks who averaged double figures in exhibition play. Graham also had a team-high 18 assists in the three contests. Azubuike led KU with 9.0 rebounds per game and he was second in scoring at 16.0 ppg and five blocked shots. Newman averaged 14.7 points per win and was second with nine assists. Vick was second in rebounds with a 6.0 average as he scored 13.3 points per game. Preston averaged 11.0 points per game and shot a team-best 87.5 percent (14-of-16) from the field. Mykhailiuk had a team-high seven steals in the three exhibition victories as he averaged 9.3 points. Sophomore forward Mitch Lightfoot led the team with six blocked shots.
ABOUT TENNESSEE STATE
Located in Nashville, Tennessee, with an enrollment of 9,165, Tennessee State will open play at Kansas on Nov. 10. The Tigers are coached by Dana Ford who is 42-50 beginning his fourth season at TSU. Last season, Tennessee State went 17-13 and finished tied for sixth in the Ohio Valley Conference with an 8-8 league record. TSU was picked seventh among the 12 teams in the 2017-18 Ohio Valley Conference preseason coaches poll and fourth in the preseason media poll. Belmont is the favorite to win the OVC.
Tennessee State returns two starters and nine letterwinners from last season’s team. Senior guards Darreon Reddick (9.0 ppg in 2016-17) and Delano Spencer (8.4 ppg) are the returning starters. Other probable starters for the Tigers include senior forward/center Ken’Darrius Hamilton (7.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg in 2016-17), redshirt-junior forward Christian Mekowulu (4.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg) and junior guard Armani Chaney (4.6 ppg, 1.7 apg).
Kansas won the only meeting with Tennessee State in a campus game of the Las Vegas Invitational, on Nov. 21, 2006, in Allen Fieldhouse. KU guard Sherron Collins led all scorers with 19 points, while guard Brandon Rush and forward Julian Wright tallied 14 points apiece. Forward Darrell Arthur added 10 in the victory. Kansas has faced nine of the 12 Ohio Valley Conference teams and has a combined record of 20-0 against the league.
A KANSAS WIN WOULD…
Extend Kansas’ home opening victory streak to 44 games, starting in 1973-74 … Make Kansas 2-0 all-time against Tennessee State … Make KU 21-0 against current membership of the Ohio Valley Conference … Make Kansas 758-110 all-time in Allen Fieldhouse, including 221-10 under head coach Bill Self … Make Self 2-0 versus Tennessee State, 417-88 while at Kansas, one win shy of tying Roy Williams for the second-most wins in KU history, and 624-193 for his career … Make Kansas 2,218-841 all-time.
A KANSAS LOSS WOULD…
End KU’s 43-game home opening win streak, being its first loss in a first season game in Allen Fieldhouse since 1972-73 … Tie the Tennessee State series at 1-1 … Give KU its first loss against current membership of the Ohio Valley Conference (20-1) … Make Kansas 757-111 all-time in Allen Fieldhouse, including 220-11 under head coach Bill Self … Make Self 1-1 versus Tennessee State, 416-89 while at Kansas and 623-194 as a head coach … Make KU 2,217-842 all-time.
LAST TIME OUT
Some stingy defense and 16 points from senior guard Devonte’ Graham in the second half helped separate the No. 4/3 Kansas Jayhawks from the Fort Hays State Tigers Tuesday night in Allen Fieldhouse, 86-57. Graham led all scorers with 27 points and connected on six 3-pointers as KU concluded its exhibition campaign.
After sophomore center Udoka Azubuike kicked off the game with a rim-shaking alley-oop dunk from Graham, the Jayhawks tallied few highlights in the opening half as the pesky Tigers looked to spoil KU’s 48-game home exhibition winning streak. There were five lead changes and two ties over the opening 20 minutes, which included a Hadley Gillum 3-pointer with 2:27 remaining in the first half to make the score level at 33-33.
The Tigers opened the second half by cutting their deficit to three points on a Brady Werth lay-in at the 19:06 mark, but that’s as close as the visitors would get. Graham kicked off a 10-3 KU spurt by laying in two of his 16 second-half points. The run gave the Jayhawks their first double-digit lead of the game, and quickly awoke a KU offense that went on to outscore the visitors 48-24 in the final stanza.
Another thunderous dunk from Azubuike put the Jayhawks up 61-44 at the midway point of the second half. Graham then took over the bulk of the scoring load to close out the contest. The senior guard rained in a trio of 3-pointers and a pair of free throws within two minutes to push the KU lead to 27 points before the final media timeout.
Kansas cruised from there, as four different Jayhawks got on the scoresheet over the waning minutes of the contest to help finish off the 86-57 win to close out exhibition play.
KANSAS NO. 3 & NO. 4 IN PRESEASON POLLS
Kansas men’s basketball enters the 2017-18 season No. 3 in the USA TODAY Coaches’ poll released Oct. 30 and No. 4 in the Associated Press poll announced Nov. 1.
Kansas has been ranked in each of the last 162 AP polls dating back to Feb. 3, 2009, which is the longest active streak in NCAA Division I. The AP ranking marks the fifth consecutive year the Jayhawks have been preseason ranked fifth of higher and the third straight at No. 4 or higher. Under 15th-year and Hall of Fame head coach Bill Self, this is the 12th time that Kansas enters the season ranked seventh or higher in the Associated Press preseason poll and historically, the No. 4 ranking marks the 20th time since the 1992-93 season that Kansas will enter the season seventh or higher. Last season, KU entered the year No. 3 nationally in the Associated Press poll and ended at No. 3.
This is the fourth-straight year the Jayhawks have opened the season in the top five in the coaches’ poll. Kansas is ranked in the preseason for the 26th time in time in the 29-year history of the coaches’ poll. The No 3 ranking marks the eighth time KU has been preseason No. 3 or higher in the coaches’ poll. Additionally, it is the 12th time in the Self era the Jayhawks have been preseason seventh or higher, including each of the last six seasons. In 2016-17 Kansas opened the year No. 2 in the preseason coaches’ poll and ended No. 4.
All four teams in the Nov. 14 Champions Classic are ranked in the top four of the coaches’ poll with No. 1 Duke, No. 2 Michigan State, No. 3 Kansas and No. 4 Kentucky. Last year, Kansas pulled a rarity and defeated the three other Champions Classic teams during the season.
PRESEASON ALL-BIG 12
Kansas guards Devonte’ Graham, Malik Newman and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk each garnered recognition on the 2017-18 Preseason All-Big 12 Team as voted on by the league’s men’s basketball coaches, the conference office announced Oct. 12.
Graham was named the 2017-18 Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, while Newman was dubbed the league’s preseason newcomer of the year. Graham was also a preseason all-conference first-team selection, while Newman and Mykhailiuk securing preseason honorable mention honors. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes in the selection process.
PRESEASON BIG 12 POLL
For the 16th time in the 22-year history of the Big 12, Kansas men’s basketball has been selected as the preseason favorite to win the conference regular-season championship as the league released its coaches’ preseason poll Oct. 18.
Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams in the poll and KU received a unanimous nine first-place votes and a total of 81 points. West Virginia was second in the poll receiving 71 points, followed by TCU (64). Three teams – Texas (49), Baylor (47) and Oklahoma (43) were clumped in spots 4-6, followed by Texas Tech (36), Kansas State (27), Iowa State (22) and Oklahoma State (10).
Kansas has won, or tied for, 17 of the 21 Big 12 regular-season titles, including the last 13 consecutive, a streak which ranks tied for first all-time in NCAA Division I history with UCLA (1967-79).
Historically, the preseason favorite has gone on to finish first in the regular season 14 times, which does not include 1996-97 as a coaches’ poll was not conducted. Kansas has been the preseason favorite in 13 of its 17 Big 12 regular-season titles, missing 1996-97 (no poll), 2005-06 (third) and 2010-11 (second).
PRESEASON NATIONAL HONORS
Kansas guards Devonte’ Graham and Malik Newman have both been named to preseason watch lists by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Graham is one of 20 candidates for the 2018 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award, while Newman is one of 20 on the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch lists for each award.
Named after Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic and Holy Cross guard Bob Cousy, the annual honor, now in its 15th year, recognizes the top point guard in NCAA Division I men’s basketball. Graham is vying to become the second-straight Jayhawk to win the award as Frank Mason III was KU’s first-ever Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award winner last season.
Named after Hall of Famer and 1959 NCAA Final Four Most Valuable Player Jerry West, the annual honor, in its fourth year, recognizes the top shooting guard in Division I men’s college basketball.
On Nov. 6, the USBWA named Graham one of 32 on the Oscar Robertson Trophy Watch List, an award also won by Mason last season.
CELEBRATING 120 YEARS IN 2017-18
Kansas Athletics will host numerous events throughout the 2017-18 season to celebrate 120 years of KU men’s basketball and other Jayhawk basketball milestones. The first celebration will be for 120 years of Kansas basketball. It will be held Saturday, Feb. 3 when KU hosts Oklahoma State in Allen Fieldhouse. Players, coaches and staff from every era of KU basketball will be recognized during the game; the weekend’s festivities will also celebrate the 30-year anniversary of KU’s 1988 NCAA National Championship team.
The 2017-18 season marks the 10th anniversary of the 2008 NCAA National Championship team, which will be honored when KU hosts West Virginia on Saturday, Feb. 17. That weekend, which is also the NBA All-Star Game weekend, KU will retire the jersey of former Jayhawk All-American Cole Aldrich. Additionally, plans are in place to retire the jersey of 2010 Consensus All-America First-Team selection Sherron Collins on KU’s ESPN Big Monday game against Oklahoma on Feb. 19.
THIS DAY IN KANSAS BASKETBALL HISTORY
NOV. 10, 2000: No. 7 Kansas defeated Saint John’s, 82-74, in the title game of the Coaches vs. Cancer IKON Classic in historic Madison Square Garden in New York City. Jayhawk Kenny Gregory was named the event’s most valuable player after recording a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Drew Gooden joined Gregory on the all-tournament team as he had 22 points and nine rebounds in the contest. Kansas defeated No. 17 UCLA, 99-98, the day before in the semifinals of the event. KU would go on to post a 26-7 record and advance to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
JAYHAWKS TAKE PART IN SHOWDOWN FOR RELIEF
The Showdown for Relief, the Oct. 22 charity exhibition basketball game between the universities of Kansas and Missouri at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, generated $2.011 million for victims of recent natural disasters in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Kansas won the exhibition, 93-87.
The donations are a combination of ticket sales ($1.15 million), the Pay-per-View stream ($768,000) and text-to-give contributions ($68,000). Donations from other entities totaled approximately $25,000, bringing the total donation to some $2.011 million. The funds will be directed to “One America Appeal for Hurricane Relief,” a joint appeal launched by all five living former U.S. Presidents. The following organizations will benefit from the game: the Houston Harvey Relief Fund, the Rebuild Texas Fund, the Florida Disaster Fund, Unidos Por Puerto Rico and the Fund for the U.S. Virgin Islands.
On the floor the old conference rivals did not upset the capacity crowd of 18,951 in the first KU-MU battle since 2012. Kansas built an eight-point lead, 27-19, midway through the first half behind five 3-pointers from senior Devonte’ Graham. Graham ended the contest with 25 points and 10 rebounds, all defensive. He was one of five Jayhawks in double figures for the game along with sophomore guard Malik Newman with 17 points, sophomore center Udoka Azubuike with 16, junior guard Lagerald Vick with 13 and freshman forward Billy Preston with 12.
BILL SELF INDUCTED INTO NAISMITH BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME
Kansas head coach Bill Self, along with 10 others, was officially enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Sept. 8 at Springfield Symphony Hall in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts.
Joining Self in the evening’s enshrinement festivities were the other 10 Class of 2017 inductees: Zack Clayton (player, posthumous), Nick Galis (player), Robert Hughes (coach), Mannie Jackson (contributor), Tom Jernstedt (contributor), Jerry Krause (contributor, posthumous), Tracy McGrady (player), Rebecca Lobo (contributor), George McGinnis (player) and Muffet McGraw (coach).
Self becomes the 19th person associated with Kansas basketball to be inducted, the last being coaching legend John McClendon, who was inducted in 2016 for the second time. As only the eighth coach in KU history, Self is the fifth KU mentor to be inducted into Hall joining James Naismith, Dr. F.C. “Phog” Allen, Larry Brown and Roy Williams. Kansas has the highest percentage of coaches in the Hall of Fame, 63 percent, than any other school. KU’s five matches North Carolina’s five for the most inducted in college coaching with St. John’s third with four.
In 2016-17, Kansas made a single season-record 318 3-pointers, besting the previous school-record mark of 304 treys from just one season earlier. In both years, the Jayhawks shot better than 40 percent from beyond the arc.
Including 2016-17, Kansas has won 17 of the 21 Big 12 regular-season titles (includes ties), including the last 13, which is tied for the NCAA record. Kansas’ 60 conference titles are the most in NCAA Division I. Kentucky is second with 54 and Penn third at 37. KU’s 13-straight league titles are the longest active streak in NCAA Division I and the longest streak in school history. Kansas is now tied with UCLA, which from 1967-79, also won the NCAA record of 13 straight, which was under two coaches. Kansas’ current run has been under head coach Bill Self.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN 2017-18
- Bill Self needs just three wins to move to No. 2 on Kansas’ all-time wins list. Self, enters the season with 416 victories as the head coach at KU. Roy Williams amassed 418 wins in his 15 seasons in Lawrence. Phog Allen is the Jayhawks’ all-time wins leader, tallying 590 victories in his 39 seasons.
- With a 247-48 (83.7 percent) record since 2010, Kansas is the winningest program, by percentage, this decade: 1. KANSAS (247-48, 83.7%); 2. Gonzaga (239-47, 83.6%); 3. Kentucky (249-53, 82.5%); 4. Wichita State (233-53, 81.7); 5. Duke (238-56, 81.0%).
- The Jayhawks are pursuing their 14th-conseuctive Big 12 regular-season championship. A 14th-league title would break UCLA’s NCAA record mark of 13-consecutive conference championships from 1967-79.
- Should Kansas advance to the 2018 NCAA Tournament it would be its 29th-consecutive NCAA tourney appearance. The current 28 straight is the NCAA Tournament longest consecutive appearance streak with North Carolina (1975-2001) second at 27.
- Junior G Devonte’ Graham ranks seventh on KU’s career 3-point field goal list, currently with 186 career 3-pointers. Jeff Boschee holds the school record at 338-career treys and Billy Thomas is second with 269.
- Graham also enters the season at 45th on KU’s career points list with 1,075. If he maintains his career average (10.4 ppg) for the regular season, he would reach approximately 1,400 career points, which would move him near the top-25 of KU’s all-time scorers.
BIG 12 RUN NO CAKEWALK
Kansas ended 2016-17 ranked No. 4 in the NCAA Rating Percentage Index (RPI) and its strength of schedule 19th nationally. In Self’s first 14 seasons, KU has ranked fifth or higher in the final RPI 10 times, including each of the last eight years.
Kansas will take part in the State Farm Champions Classic for the seventh-straight year when the Jayhawks journey to Chicago’s United Center to meet the No. 5/4 Kentucky Wildcats. Tip-off on ESPN is slated for 8:30 p.m. (CT). Dan Shulman (play-by-play), Dick Vitale (analyst) and Maria Taylor (reporter) will call the action.
This will be KU’s 31st meeting all-time with Kentucky and the sixth in the last seven seasons. The Wildcats lead the all-time series 22-8, however the Jayhawks have come out on top in five of the eight contests since 2005, which includes a 79-73 win in Lexington last season.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.